9. Beliefs 2

By now you will be aware of various beliefs you hold, and some of the ways you can work on changing them. There are a couple more things to keep in mind when beginning to explore your beliefs and work on transforming them into more beneficial things. Beliefs can be considered to form structures (belief structures) which comprises various similar beliefs (variations on a theme), and interconnections with other beliefs. When you tinker with one belief you are going to affect the structure in some way, and undoubtedly bring about awareness of similar and connected beliefs, as well as polar opposites to those beliefs. One way that a belief manifests is through a subpersonality, which is a smaller aspect of your personality. Subpersonalities always come in pairs – the polar opposites of each other, although one is usually dominant and its opposite is repressed. It is common for people to swing from polarity to polarity, which can be seen in so-called “mood swings” or manifested in indecision (where you cannot make up your mind, or feel in “two minds” about something, noting the positives and negatives in both potential decisions). Disparate and conflicting thoughts and behaviours can often be observed in others, and also in our own lives. For example, someone may profess beliefs in never telling a lie, and yet is observed telling lies on various occasions. This is because they are swinging between, and operating from, the two opposing subpersonalities, one which has a central belief that lying is wrong, while the other has a central belief that lying is ok (perhaps as long as the end justifies the means). This is why it is essential for you to learn to go beyond these polar opposites and synthesis new and holistic beliefs that are do not cause an inner conflict between opposing points of view. One solution to maintaining very fixed beliefs is to develop a belief that your beliefs are only temporary working hypotheses. A temporary working hypothesis is still a belief, but it is not held to be immutable true, nor as unchangeably false. It is a belief that you can work from, and understood to have elements of the truth, but are willing to discard or adapt if experience brings about new knowledge and understanding, or as you work on synthesizing conflicting beliefs. Even these new synthesized beliefs are not immutable, but will eventually be transformed or discarded.

Exercise 1 – Beliefs Review

  • Spend some time reading through your journal entries from the past few weeks.
  • Identify beliefs contained within the statements you have written.
  • Do you still agree with, or identify with these beliefs?
  • Do you feel in “two minds” about some of the things you have written, or notice a particular mood you were in when you wrote an entry? (This would indicate subpersonalities at work)
  • Start to identify some of your subpersonalities, and write a little about them.

Exercise 2 – Synthesis of Subpersonalities

You should be familiar with this process from the lesson on synthesis. The exercise here is therefore slightly shortened.

  • Sit comfortably and close your eyes
  • Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax
  • Focus your mind on one of your subpersonalities (from exercise 1).
  • Allow a symbol to come to mind that represents this subpersonality.
  • Spend some time getting a sense of this subpersonality, and the core belief it is formed around.
  • Spend some time talking to the subpersonality and find out what it does in your life.
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of this subpersonality?
  • When you have discovered all you need to know about the first subpersonality, set it aside.
  • Allow a symbol to come to mind that represents the polar opposite to this subpersonality.
  • Spend some time getting a sense of this subpersonality, and the core belief it is formed around.
  • Spend some time talking to the subpersonality and find out what it does in your life, or what it could do if it was able to play more of an active rôle.
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of this subpersonality?
  • When you have discovered all you need to know about the first subpersonality, set it aside.
  • Connect with of your Higher Self.
  • Now, imagine an equilateral triangle before you, with the single point at the top.
  • Visualize the two symbols, representing the two subpersonalities, at opposite points of the triangle’s base.
  • Talk to your Higher Self, explaining that you seek a synthesis of these two opposites, and ask it to assist you.
  • Imagine the two symbols from the base moving up the sides of the triangle until they merge and become a new symbol – the synthesis of the opposites.
  • Concentrate on this new symbol. See it clearly in your mind’s eye.
  • Explore what concepts and beliefs this symbol represents (and how those things relate to you).
  • Keep scanning the symbol for concepts, words, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and how they relate to you.
  • Talk with your Higher Self, seeking its assistance in learning about this new holistic symbol.
  • When you are finished, open your eyes and draw the symbols at the relevant corners of a triangle, and write about this experience in your journal.

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